Eric D. Widmer
Kaufmann V., Viry G., Widmer E.D. (2010). Motility. In: Collet B., Schneider N., Mobile living across Europe, volume II. Causes and consequences of job-related spatial mobility in cross-national perspective. Leverkusen-Opladen: Barbara Budrich, pp. 95-111.

Every individual and group is characterized by its propensity (either greater or lesser) for movement within the geographical, social and economic spaces. The set of these aptitudes is what we call ‘motility’, in reference to the definition bestowed upon the term by the field of biology (Kaufmann 2002). Motility is defined as those factors that allow one to be mobile in space: physical capacity, financial means, aspirations towards sedentary or mobile way of life, technical systems of transport and telecommunications along with their accessibility, acquired skills like professional training, driving licence, international English for travel, etc.. Motility then refers to factors of accessibility (the conditions under which it is possible to utilize the offer in the broad sense of the term), skills (those necessary to utilize this offer), and appropriation (the effective use of the offer to realize one’s own projects). In short, motility is the way an individual or group utilizes and appropriates the realm of possibilities as far as movement is concerned.

This chapter focuses on motility and its implications for mobility. It first shortly defines the dimensions of motility. After building a typology of motility, it explores its socio-demographical and national distribution, firstly by an analysis of correspondence and then by a logistic regression. To estimate the effects of motility on mobility practices, the chapter ends with a multinomial regression that aims to highlight the various types of mobility associated with specific mobilities, as well as a logistic regression on the use of the automobile and public transport according to the typology of the motility.

For further reading, refer to the publication.

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